CCSD cancels spring athletics due to COVID-19 fears


The Clark County School District announced today that all athletic activities are canceled, effective immediately, due to the spread of the coronavirus. The decision came after the sports world was rocked by the cancellations of seasons and tournaments, both on the professional and collegiate level.

“When I first heard the spring season was canceled, I was initially in disbelief,” sophomore swimmer Stella Gunjevic said. “I knew that the district was taking the coronavirus seriously, but I didn’t think they would go this far in fighting it.”

Many spring athletes, such as Gunjevic, expressed sadness at the news that their seasons were over. But according to senior softball player Chryshelle Abril-Ryan, the cancellation affects one group of Grizzlies the most: seniors. 

For many, this season was their last year playing, and Abril-Ryan, like many others, broke down when she heard the news.

“As a senior, I’m really heartbroken over this,” Abril-Ryan said. “My senior year has been something I’ve been looking forward to for years. I don’t think I’ve been more excited for anything in my life than I have been for this season to start. It just feels like everything has been taken from me.”

The district’s decision has also impacted possible college scouting opportunities for spring athletes. Many, like Abril-Ryan, have not applied to colleges yet and hoped this season would help them get to the next level.

“I think [the decision] can greatly affect college scouting,” Ryan said. “A lot of people don’t get scouted or signed to a school until their senior year. So, if there’s no season, when can these college coaches see these kids?”

Other athletes said that they will lose time to develop their in-game skills, which will make it difficult to progress to the next level, due to the cancellation. Freshmen, like volleyball player Yunus Schersei, are now expected to move up to junior varsity next year with no high school game experience.

“Personally, [I] have been training with things like conditioning and small, open-gym practices since about November or December,” Schersei said. “I’ve gone out of my way to go to volleyball gyms up north simply to go practice and perform my best.”

Junior pole vaulter Evan Simmons agreed, saying that the district is not justified in canceling the season.

“If you can show me that there’s been a case among a singular student and that it may have spread to other students, then maybe you can see that for a cause of concern,” Simmons said. “The coronavirus isn’t worrisome to kids because we all have stronger immune systems that match up to the older generation based on statistics. We feel that officials might be more worried about their own health over a whole generation.”

The decision to cancel the athletic activities was made after all professional and college sports organizations either postponed or canceled their tournaments. Even the major tournaments, such as the NCAA March Madness and College World Series tournaments were canceled today. Many, including Abril-Ryan, believe the decisions, which were started by the NBA, were the catalyst for the district to end spring sports.

“I think [the NBA’s decision] played a great factor in [the district’s] decision,” Ryan said. “I don’t think if they didn’t cancel the pros or college sports, they wouldn’t even be thinking about canceling our season.”